• Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Google+
Posted by Maxine Cleminson - - 0 comments

Jo, an old school friend of mine has started up her own cake making business, The Little Gingerbread House, and has been having huge success with her amazing cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other delectable delights! Go to her Facebook Page and 'Like' it to see some of the amazing edible creations she comes up with! You can also place online orders through her Facebook page ... great for expats like myself who want to send an affordable yet special gift to someone back in the UK!

She posted some of her fabulous items this week as she prepared a stall of goodies for a Christmas market, and I found myself totally inspired by her ideas! So, although this isn't my idea (which is technically, the point of my blog), it was inspired by another very creative mama! Thanks, Jo, for allowing me to share!

At this time of year, there's a lot of commercialism and pressure to give gifts to a lot of people... especially here in the USA, where the etiquette for tipping and gift giving at Christmas extends to just about everyone (that makes us Brits sound like right stingy so-and-sos... we're not, honestly)! So, this is an easy solution for a gift that shows you care for and appreciate someone, without it costing an absolute fortune, and without buying into the overly packaged, gimmicky nonsense marketed in the stores at this time of year!

The idea for this gift, is that you give someone a jar full of all the dry ingredients (weighed, measured & sifted), plus the instructions so they can bake their own fresh cookies! You can also accessories with wooden spoons, or cookie cutters! The recipient may need to add an egg, some butter, oil or syrup depending on the cookie recipe that you make, but the rest is fully prepared! Essentially, like a Betty Crocker packet, but prettier, with wholesome ingredients and prepared with love (tee hee)! I think it's a lovely personal gift, that shows thought and effort. Plus, it can be tailor-made to suit your recipient (using gluten free flour for those with allergies for example!).

At this point, I should say... if you are The Big One's teacher... look away now!

Gingerbread Man Cookie Mix Jar

You will need...

  • A 1 quart (1 litre) Mason/preserving jar... either the kind with the screw top or the rubber seal/clip. These are readily available in stores and are very good value. I bought mine for $1.50 in a large craft store locally.
  • 1 yard of pretty, festive ribbon - look in the discount bins in the craft store... I got a great selection for just $1 each!
  • 1 themed cookie cutter - bargain at 99c!
  • 2 cups (250g) all purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking (bicarbonate) soda
  • 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (190g) all purpose (plain) flour - and yes, I do mean to repeat this ingredient!
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Firstly, sift together 2 cups of all purpose flour with the baking powder and baking soda.  Then spoon into the jar.  Shake to settle it as much as possible, and then press it down... the end of a rolling pin is useful for this.  You will need to do this to make sure you get all of the ingredients in the jar! The ninja headband sported by The Big One is, of course, optional!

Next measure 1 cup of dark brown sugar, spoon into the jar and pack down again.  Lastly, sift together the remaining 1 and a half cups of flour with the spices.  Spoon into the jar, pressing down as necessary.

Seal the jar and then decorate with ribbon and tie on any accessories, such as cookie cutters or wooden spoons, that you want to include.

You will then need to provide the recipient with instructions on how to use their cookie mix.  The Big One created a handwritten masterpiece, but you could copy and paste the text below and create a sticky printable label or a printout tag with festive clip art!

The full instructions are as follows:

1. Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to blend together.
2. Mix in 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine, 3/4 cup molasses, and 1 slightly beaten egg. Dough will be very stiff, so you may need to use your hands. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350'F (175'C).
4. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven. Decorate as desired.

This idea works brilliantly for all types of cookie recipes, and even things like brownies! Adapt the recipe/instructions/accessories however you like!

To make things as convenient as possible for your recipient, you may wish to supply some of the other items.  For example, we decanted 3/4 cup of molasses into a clean jar (an empty cake sprinkles pot was the perfect size) so that The Big One's teacher only needs to provide and egg and some butter to make the cookies!  We also included a small pot of festive decorating sprinkles (in the Dollar section at Target!).  Finally, put all your items together with some tissue paper in a gift bag (we even made a gingerbread man shaped gift tag for our bag!), and you have a thoughtful, affordable gift that someone will truly appreciate!


And of course, if you're weighing out the ingredients anyway... it'd be rude not to whizz up a batch of your own cookies!  What a fun activity to entertain the kids and some friends than to spend some time decorating your own gingerbread man.  Just mix up some simple powdered icing sugar with a tiny bit of warm water, and provide a variety of sprinkles and candies for the kids' to get creative with!  Paper cupcake cases are great for this!

Leave a Reply

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! I am always very touched when people take the time to comment too... it gives me a real boost!

Do check back soon as I make an effort to reply to all comments here!

Thanks again!
Mama Max

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...